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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Genetic Diversity in Hypericum and AFLP Markers for Species-specific Identification of H. perforatum L.

Authors
item Percifield, R. - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Hawkins, J. - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item McCoy, Joe Ann
item Widrlechner, Mark
item Wendel, J. - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Planta Medica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 27, 2007
Publication Date: December 20, 2007
Citation: Percifield, R., Hawkins, J., Mccoy, J.H., Widrlechner, M.P., Wendel, J. 2007. Genetic Diversity in Hypericum and AFLP Markers for Species-specific Identification of H. perforatum L. Planta Medica. 73:1614-1621. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-993749.

Interpretive Summary: One of the top-selling international medicinal products is Hypericum perforatum (St. Johns Wort). Despite its worldwide distribution and utilization, little is known regarding the relationship of the bioactive compounds in H. perforatum to the plants from which they are harvested. In this study, Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) analysis of 56 Hypericum accessions, representing 11 species, was conducted to gain a better understanding of diversity within Hypericum species, especially within cultivated accessions of H. perforatum, and to establish a molecular method that will provide breeders and regulators with a simple, affordable, and accurate tool with which to identify H. perforatum material in commercial products. AFLP analysis is a whole-genome approach that has broad applicability in determining genetic variability within and among plant populations, crop origins, and relationships among cultivars. AFLP markers are highly repeatable, provide broad genomic coverage and a virtually limitless number of genetic markers. Utilizing four primer combinations, a total of 298 polymorphic markers were generated, of which 17 were present in all H. perforatum species and 2 were specific to only H. perforatum. This study demonstrates that AFLP can be utilized not only to determine the relationships of closely related Hypericum accessions, but as a tool to authenticate material in herbal remedies through the use of genetic fingerprinting.

Technical Abstract: Naturally occurring bioactive compounds originating from plant material are being used worldwide as medicinal treatments for maladies ranging from depression to the common cold. One of the more widely used of these herbal remedies is Hypericum perforatum, commonly known as St. John's Wort. However, despite its cosmopolitan use, little is known regarding the relationship of the bioactive compounds in H. perforatum to the plants from which they are purportedly derived. In this study, Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) analysis of 56 Hypericum spp. accessions, representing 11 species, was conducted to gain a better understanding of diversity within Hypericum spp, especially within cultivated accessions of H. perforatum, and to establish a molecular methodology that will provide breeders and regulators with a simple, affordable, and accurate tool with which to identify purported H. perforatum material. Utilizing four primer combinations, a total of 298 polymorphic markers were generated, of which 17 were present in all H. perforatum species and 2 were specific to only H. perforatum. This study demonstrates that AFLP can be utilized not only to determine the relationships of closely related Hypericum spp. accessions, but as a tool to authenticate material in herbal remedies through the use of genetic fingerprinting.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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